Brendon McCullum slammed his maiden World Cup ton while stand-in skipper Ross Taylor cracked a breezy half century to power New Zealand to a record score of 358 for six in their penultimate Group A tie against Canada at the refurbished Wankhede Stadium here today.
McCullum made 101 in 109 balls, studded with 12 fours and two sixes, before Taylor, coming into the clash after a match-winning 131 not out against Pakistan, hammered five sixes and six fours in just 44 balls for his 74 to help the Black Caps amass the highest-ever ODI total at this ground.
Other useful contributions came from Jesse Ryder (38), Scott Styris (20-ball 35), Kane Williamson (34) and James Franklin (31 not out in eight balls). Franklin hoisted Rizwan Cheema for three sixes and a four in the final over to help the Kiwis cross the 350 mark.
The last ten overs yielded 122 runs, including 31 runs in the last, that helped the Black Caps shoot past the previous highest aggregate of 299 for four made by India against Sri Lanka in 1987 at this ground which is hosting its first tie in the ongoing World Cup and first international in more than three and a half years.
McCullum was on song from the start after New Zealand were asked to bat on the newly laid turf and proceeded to cut, pull and drive his way to his hundred, his third in 189 ODIs.
The 29-year-old wicketkeeper also put on 53 runs for the first wicket in 9.5 overs with his in-form opening partner Martin Guptill (17) to lay foundation of the massive total.
McCullum consolidated the innings with another partnership of 96 with one-down batman Ryder before giving further impetus with Taylor through a stand of 36 for the third wicket.
He fell just after Canada opted for the bowling power play, unable to clear short cover fielder Ruvindu Gunasekar. He had raced to his 100 in 107 balls a few minutes earlier.
Taylor, captaining the side in place of injured Daniel Vettori and coming into the tie after his match-winning 131 not out against Pakistan at Pallekelle, then took over the attacking reins. He slammed four sixes and a four to take 30 runs off Harvir Baidwan in the 39th over to up the tempo.
Taylor, appearing well set to race to his second hundred of the tournament, was dismissed in the 41st over.
For Canada, off-spinner John Davision, a veteran of three World Cup campaigns, applied the brakes with an economical spell of nine overs while leg-spinner Balaji Rao finished with two wickets, including that of Taylor, while Harvin Baiwan grabbed three.
New Zealand openers found the wicket to their liking after taking a couple of overs to judge the pace, bounce and movement afforded by the newly laid turf.
McCullum, in particular, simply enjoyed the ball coming on to the bat at a nice pace and height and whacked it around in his inimitable style. The wicket-keeper batsman square-cut Osinde for a couple of fours and also played a glorious straight drive off Chohan to set the ton for Kiwi innings.
The taller Martin Guptill, coming into the match with back-to-back half tons to his credit, off-drove Osinde for his first boundary in the sixth over and lofted Chohan in the next to further accelerate the scoring.
McCullum stepped out to off-drive Baidwan for the first six of the match before edging the medium pacer through to the third man fence for another four as New Zealand raced to the 50 mark in just 52 balls.
Just before the end of the first power play, New Zealand lost Guptill who poked at a ball that moved out a shade from Baidwan and was caught behind by rival skipper Bagai.
McCullum and one-down Jesse Ryder found the going comfortable against the Canada's lightweight bowling attack with the former even slamming Henry Osinde, who had changed ends, for three fours in the 12th over.
Left-handed Ryder then slashed and pulled Baidwan for a couple of fours and McCullum cover-drove Khurram Chohan in style for another boundary to canter to his half century in only 38 balls, peppered with nine fours and a six.
The first 15 overs produced 95 runs for the loss of Guptill's wicket and New Zealand raised the hundred in 103 balls. After 20 overs the score was a healthy 110 for one.
McCullum switched into the attacking mode soon after the first two power plays and he stepped out to leggie Balaji Rao to hoist him over long off for his second six.
Ryder (38 in 56 balls) departed in the 30th over after miscuing a lofted shot off 40-year-old off spinner John Davison and was caught at long on. The second wicket stand between the burly left hander and McCullum produced 96 runs in 117 balls.
The experienced Davison also applied the brakes on the run-rate with his fast and flat off-breaks.
But Osinde, at the other end, was struck for two successive fours by Taylor to ease the pressure.
Canada opted for the bowling power play soon after and got rid off McCullum but Taylor simply tore apart Baidwan in one over before finally falling to Balaji Rao, top edging a pull to short third man.
Later left handed Franklin used his reach against Cheema to clear the boundary with ridiculous ease and power the Kiwis to the imposing total.
McCullum's Maiden Ton Powers Kiwis to 358/6
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